Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Travis

Last Name: Atkins

Birthplace: Great Falls, MT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Willam

Date of Birth: 09 December 1975

Date of Death: 01 June 2007

Rank: Staff Sergeant

Years Served: 2000 - 2003; 2005 -2007
Travis William Atkins

•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Travis William Atkins
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

Travis was born in Great Falls, MT, the son of John and Elaine Frankel Atkins. He spent his first five years in Helena and then moved with his parents to Bozeman in 1981. Travis attended Bozeman schools and also one year at Kemper Military School in Booneville, MO.

Following school, Travis worked for concrete contractors, painting contractors and as a small engine mechanic in Missoula, Belgrade, Bozeman and West Yellowstone.

Travis enlisted in the U.S. Army on 16 November 2000. After completing Infantry Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA, he was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY.

In early March 2003, Travis deployed with the 101st to Kuwait and participated in the invasion of Iraq later that month as an infantry fire team leader. During his 2003 tour in Iraq, Travis was tasked out to the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-DELTA for a period of time.

He was honorably discharged from the Army as a Sergeant (E-5) in December 2003. Travis then worked again for concrete and painting contractors; he also attended the University of Montana in Missoula.

In December 2005, Travis re-enlisted in the Army and was assigned to Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), at Fort Drum, NY. He was subsequently reassigned to Delta Company in the same Battalion and deployed to Iraq again in August 2006. Travis was promoted to Staff Sergeant (E-6) effective 1 May 2007.

On 1 June 2007, SSG Atkins, 31, was leading a dismounted patrol as a squad leader of Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), near Yusufiyah, Iraq. The patrol encountered a group of suspected insurgents and was searching them when one resisted and began fighting hand to hand with Atkins. During the fight, Atkins realized that the man was trying to trigger a suicide vest he was wearing under his clothing. Atkins tackled his attacker and pinned him to the ground, shielding three of his soldiers from the blast as the insurgent set off the bomb. SSG Atkins was killed in the blast.

Travis was described as being 'all Army, all Infantry.' One of his recommendations for an award described Travis' enthusiasm for his profession. It reads: During Operation Iraqi Freedom, CPL Atkins skillfully led his fire team on a raid in Southern Baghdad. During the raid his team was tasked with clearing a mosque reported to house up to thirty armed Iraqi suicide fighters. Leading from the front, using speed and violence of action, CPL Atkins' team successfully seized and secured the Brigade Task Force objective, capturing all personnel inside by surprise. His team was able to find several weapons, uniforms and intel.

Medals, Awards & Badges

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Army Service Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Combat Infantryman Badge
Air Assault Badge

Medal of Honor Citation

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Staff Sergeant Travis William Atkins, United States Army. Staff Sergeant Atkins distinguished himself by conspicuous acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 1 June, 2007, while serving as a Squad Leader with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While manning a static observation post in the town of Abu Samak, Iraq, Staff Sergeant Atkins was notified that four suspicious individuals, walking in two pairs, were crossing an intersection not far from his position. Staff Sergeant Atkins immediately moved his squad to interdict them. One of the individuals began behaving erratically, prompting Staff Sergeant Atkins to disembark from his patrol vehicle and approach to conduct a search. Both individuals responded belligerently toward Staff Sergeant Atkins, who then engaged the individual he had intended to search in hand-to-hand combat. When he noticed the insurgent was reaching for something under his clothes, Staff Sergeant Atkins immediately wrapped him in a bear hug and threw him to the ground, away from his fellow soldiers. Maintaining his hold on the insurgent, he pinned him to the ground, further sheltering his patrol. The insurgent then detonated a bomb strapped to his body, killing Staff Sergeant Atkins. In this critical and selfless act of valor, Staff Sergeant Atkins acted with complete disregard for his own safety, saving the lives of the three soldiers who were with him and gallantly giving his life for his country. Staff Sergeant Atkins's undaunted courage, warrior spirit, and steadfast devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and the United States Army.


Staff Sergeant Travis William Atkins is buried at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman, Gallatin County, MT, in Veterans Section, Block 129, Lot 100.

Honoree ID: 7125   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image